Dominique and Alexis
Lexi is in front (black nose)
This bonded pair of Maremmas came from a farm that was closing down. They had had very little exposure to humans when they came to us.
And,they never made it to our adoptables since a family had been waiting for two working dogs for their chickens.
Here is an update from his family:
Lexi and Nick are doing so much better. They are both putting on weight and have lots of energy. Lexi loves the attention and comes as soon as I walk into the barn.
We had to build up our fences and screen our gates because Nick kept going through and over them. He's confined now and seems content, but I'm not sure what he would do if given the opportunity to escape again. He is definitely coming around. He will come up to me on his own for some affection and petting if Lexi is near me, so I think in time he will come to trust me more, and come to me by himself.
Lexi is an excellent guard dog. She thought my chickens shouldn't be in her area at first so she killed 14 of them. And, she was very proud of herself. So, we have to work on that. She is very dedicated to her job and does it well. I'm not worried about anything coming into the barn yard when she's out.
Nick is still a little camera shy and stays back, but Lexi loves the attention. Nick has the pink nose, Lexi's nose is black. I will try to get better pictures of Nick and send them to you. I will keep you updated on their progress.
About the Pyr in brief:
They are beautiful dogs with great temperaments given the right breeding, socialization, care including diet and training.
They require a good weekly grooming with a slicker brush and comb to keep them mat free and their skin healthy (hence, pain free from the pulling of mats as they move), and cutting their nails including their dew claws every couple of weeks to a month. This includes working dogs. They molt twice a year and all year round so your vacuum stays full. NEVER shave a Pyr. Their double coats keep them cool in summer and warm in winter.
Their instinct it to wander. Therefore, they require at least a 6-foot secure fence in a large yard in which they can play, run and watch over. No tie outs of any type for these guys. It can lead to aggression since they cannot fully watch over their territory. If they are out all day, as they usually prefer, they need shelter from the elements and fresh water.
They bark more than most dogs and neighbours do complain. That is a common reason for people surrendering their Pyrs (they didn't do their research). Their bark is what deters predators and it is instinct to them. That and marking their territory. To take away their bark is to take away who they are. The barking can be managed but it takes time, patience and consistency with positive-reinforcement training. Never use shock collars. This is cruel since their bark is who they are.
They dig holes in your garden to stay cool in summer.
Diet is very important in having a healthy dog. The best food is raw. This can be obtained from any number of sources including sales at the super market, your butcher or a supplier who specializes in raw dog food. It’s important to do your research on it. You need to aim for 5-10% organ meat, 10% bone and 80% muscle meat and feed 2% of the dogs ideal body weight.
If you need to feed kibble, baked seems to be better than extruded since, manufacturers say it retains its vitamin content and manufacturers can use fresh meats instead of rendered meats.
They require much socialization and handling as pups onward with many different people and other dogs.
They require positive-reinforcement training (a trainer who shows you how to work with a clicker and follow people such as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Karen Pryor and Bev Hurst). Pyrs, nor any dogs, take kindly to any kind of punishment. It will lead to aggression.
It's important to work with the dogs as if in a dance and you are leading. Rewards for good behaviour and redirect for unwanted behaviour. It's up to you to make them a good canine citizen. When engaging a trainer, ensure they use positive-reinforcement training and show you how to manage your dog. Never send a dog away for training. You are the one working with the dog, not a trainer.
To train a Pyr is not like training some other dogs. They are not eager-to-please and just as soon walk away from you than do as you say. They have been used for years as guardian livestock dogs because they do not require human intervention to tell them how to do their job. Lots of patience, consistency and time is required to work with them. If you want an obedient dog, this is not the dog for you.
They require regular walks, of course, so they get out and see the world. They must be leashed because they will wander. Again, because they are so good at wandering they have been used to wander with sheep as they watch over them. Do not use choker collars or pinch collars (unless you have been trained how to use one). A harness that hooks in front is easiest on the dog should he pull. How to choose what to use.
There are those in need of a home because someone didn't realize they would get so big, bark so much, leave so much hair in the house, wander, and require work.
It is very important to do your research on any breed before deciding if they are a good match for your family. Please start here:
Great Pyrenees Club of Southern Ontario
We never want to see these dogs fail so it's important that children learn how to behave with dogs and that parents never leave their children alone with a dog. Here is a link on that subject:
Best Dogs for Children